This Badass Day in History: June 18
Yea, though the skies themselves be rent asunder and the demons of a thousand years’ penance spill forth from the crack in the sky, ‘twon’t be half sad badass a day as this date in history!
…unless it occurs on June 18, in which case it will add magnificently to the legend. Oh, man, that would be so badass it hurts. In fact, let’s be honest–any day with a demon horde is automatically the winner in the calendar battle for most badass day in history. Perhaps also the most horrifying and awful? Perhaps. Perhaps. But undeniably badass.
Anyway, that will never happen, so we present our case to you unrebutted: if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say that this day, June 18, was…
French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeat an English army more than three times their size at the Battle of Patay in 1429. The battle was the culmination of Joan’s Loire Campaign and the turning point of the Hundred Years’ War, and it was won thanks in large part to the “full-scale aerobics program” Joan instated in the French army.
“Yo Adrian, I did it!”
After failing to crush the American Revolution by capturing the rebel capital, British troops abandon Philadelphia in 1778.
The United States declares war against the British Empire, kicking off the War of 1812. It was the first time the U.S. Congress had formally done so and is generally considered to be a U.S. victory.
The Battle of Waterloo ends in a spectacular defeat for Napoleon Bonaparte, bringing his long and legendary military career to an end. Among the many reasons for Napoleon’s loss include, no joke, a bad case of hemorrhoids.
Fight the power
For attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election, women’s suffrage campaigner Susan B. Anthony is sentenced to a $100 fine. She responds “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty,” and she never did.
In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean… as a passenger. Or, as she described it, “like a sack of potatoes.” Wilmer Stultz did the flying, but Ms. Earhart nevertheless received a hero’s welcome when she arrived in England.
Vive la France!
Shortly after the fall of Paris in 1940, French General Charles de Gaulle issued his famous Appeal of 18 June over the BBC in London. The speech was one of the most famous in French history despite very few people in France hearing and the BBC failing to record it.
Winston Churchill’s alley-oop
The same day as de Gaulle’s Appeal of 18 June, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “finest hour” speech. The address was one of the most famous in his career and included one of many appeals for the United States to join the side of the Allies.
Well, it looks like the English and French dominate June 18 history, but it is nice to know that they eventually came together in the end. Good show, June 18! You have clearly earned your place among the most badass days in history.